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Sumac + Pita Sole Cakes

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
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Why we love it:

Sometimes you just get bored of a sautéed filet of fish, amirite? These cakes are different and satisfying. Add a quick side salad and you have fun new take on fish night that’s still super fast. Even though they’re called Sole Cakes other types of fish work out well, see Substitutions for ideas.


  • 114 pounds Sole Filet
  • 3 Pitas
  • 2 ribs Celery (especially center ones and add in lots of chopped leaves)
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Sumac
  • 112 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 14 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Lemon (zested and juiced, divided)
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 12 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 12 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 12 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can Green Olives, Pitted (or black kalamatas, in bulk, a jar, or can)
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (divided)
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

Cooking Instructions


    Set out a large bowl near your cutting board. Slice the fish into ½” cubes, removing any bones if you encounter them. Tear the pita into small squares about the same size as the first.

    Slice the celery in a small dice and chop up any leaves. Add to the fish. To the bowl add the mayo, egg, sumac, all but a ½ teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Zest the lemon and add about ½ of the zest. Juice ½ of the lemon in (reserve the rest of the zest and juice for the dressing).

    Use a wooden spoon, or your clean hands, and mix up the contents of the bowl. Focus on the pita and make sure it is fully saturated with the mayo and egg. Set the mixture aside for a few minutes.


    In a bowl or jar, combine the remaining salt, remaining lemon juice and zest, honey, minced garlic, Dijon, vinegar, and dried oregano in a small bowl. Whisk or put the lid on the jar and shake it well.

    Add the oil, whisking constantly if using a bowl, or at once in a jar. Shake or whisk until well blended.

  • 4. ROMAINE

    Wash, dry, then slice the romaine. Add to a big bowl. Add the tomatoes and olives. Dress the salad now or serve the dressing on the table for everyone to do their own.


    Set out a large, flat sauté pan. Add ½ the butter to the pan and set it over medium high heat. When it’s melted, add ½ cup balls of the fish cake mixture to the pan. Pack the ½ cup like you would a snowball, cupped in your palms and press it fairly tight. Place on the pan and repeat with the next few. You should be able to get about 5-6 total but depending on your pan, only cook as many as fit. Once they’re on, gently press down to form a patty shape. If any pieces drop off, add them back on.

    Sear the first side for about 5 minutes, then flip. Now it’s easier to press into a flatter, patty shape. Cook for 2-4 minutes longer until cooked through.

    Remove and repeat with another batch if necessary. If the patties are browned, but not cooked through, you can pop them in the oven for 2-4 minutes.

  • 6. SERVING

    Plate a cake on each plate. Serve salad on the side. Dollop a bit of yogurt on the top of each cake to serve.

Check out our new features!


    look for GF pita or similar flatbread
    serve with hummus instead of yogurt. Omit mayo and bind with coconut cream or cashew cheese, or vegan ricotta
  • SOLE:
    any kind of cod, snapper, catfish. Even salmon would be ok
    if eggs are the problem a scoop of hummus or tahini makes a good binder
  • PITA:
    regular breadcrumbs would be ok, use about 1 cup
  • SUMAC:
    use paprika instead
    if the kids will eat fish, perhaps just omit the celery or sumac. If they won’t go for cakes, you can just sear plain strips for them on the side. If salad doesn’t work as a side dish, raw veggies dipped in the dressing or yogurt makes a great simple side dish
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